Saturday, March 15, 2014

Newsletter - 3/15/14

View This Newsletter On the Website.

Light in a messenger's eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones." (Proverbs 15:30 NIV)  Be a bearer of good news to others.

Hello Dear Friends!

Donna Feeding Pigeons - Oct 1985
Richmond Capitol Grounds
I was raised by my maternal grandparents after my mother's divorce, and my great grandparents lived with us or in a nearby home.  They didn't die until I was 10 years old.  Papa spent a lot of time with me and much of that time was spent at a nearby park feeding pigeons and squirrels.  When I see this picture I think of my Papa smiling down on me from Heaven where he now enjoys all of God's beautiful Creation in the Light of His Love.

I also loved going to the train yards to climb on the cabooses and engines.  The only way to get me off the trains was for Papa to take me to the station to put a penny in the Chiclet machine for a few pieces of gum.

Did you know Chiclets are made from the Manilkara chicle tree which is a tropical evergreen tree native to Mexico and Central America and is also native to the West Indies.  The gum is extracted from the sap of the trunk and is still used in some natural chewing gums today.

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As you can see, I still like climbing on train engines and cabooses.  These train photos are from a visit to Clarksville, Tennessee, in November 1998.

I still love to visit train stations also.  The train station link is to one in Downtown Orange, Virginia, that is now being used as a Welcome Center.

I keep reading more and more research about our thoughts creating who we become which matches the Scripture that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Psalm 23:7).  Science and quantum physics is now proving so much Scripture that God has given us for wisdom.

Every toxic thought from conception to death becomes part of who we are.  We make decisions based on these thoughts which are in a short period of time converted into beliefs whether they are truth or not.  Carrying around this toxic baggage literally causes brain damage and many of the anxiety stress disorders of our day.

Cedar Waxwing with Holly Berry
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Inflammatory diseases are rampant in our society.  God created the immune system to be a blessing to us.  As soon as a physical injury occurs or you pick up a virus somewhere, the liver secretes c-reactive proteins that rush to the site of the problem and build a tent of inflammation that is designed to stay there until the healing is done.  They are then reabsorbed by our bodies. 

Science now shows that we have this exact same reaction to a toxic thought which will become just as much a physical part of your being as any other tissue or muscle.  Toxic thoughts take up mental real estate and build connecting thoughts and every action we take is first a thought, so the way we think is of major importance.  A toxic thought is just as life-threatening as a virus and if we don't get rid of it, the inflammation stays and we have dramatically increased our vulnerability to illness and disease. 

I watched a video on toxic baggage that has definitely left an impression on me.  We can change our minds.  God tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and we are physically able to do that.  We cannot afford to not deal with toxic thoughts from our past or each day.  Listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf discussing this topic on this video:  "We Walk Through Life With Unnecessary Baggage."

It's that time to replace our mulch on the paths through our garden area and yard.  We use mulch for the paths and crushed leaves for the garden beds.  We've been blessed with a guy that delivers the mulch to us at almost half of what others charge, however, when we tried to do this in the Fall, the place he gets the mulch from wasn't responding to his calls.  Apparently the guy that owns the mulch considers himself semi-retired and isn't doing business unless he feels like going to work.  So .. we've been waiting through Winter hoping we'll be able to get it done before the Spring rains.

Freshly Mulched Paths Here at Bluebird Cove
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In the meantime I've been praying for another solution and remembered somebody mentioning rubber mulch as being  a non-toxic solution.  Somehow I couldn't imagine it being non-toxic, so I did a bit of research.  If you've considered using rubber as mulch or for children's play areas, you may want to study up a bit on what these articles and a video have to say about it.

The Myth of Rubberized Landscapes

Exposures to Ground Up Rubber Tires - Athletic Fields, Playgrounds, Garden Mulch

The Hazards of Rubber Mulch - YouTube

It's coming into planting time and although we have our home tucked into the woods, many people don't have enough trees in their yard and would like to have more for color or for energy savings.  Choosing a tree that will do well in your landscape requires a few things to think about, so I"m including a few links to good articles on how to choose the right tree:

Selecting Trees For Your Yard

Choose The Right Tree

The Right Tree in the Right Place

Speaking of trees, you wouldn't believe what's going on in our National Forests.  I can't use the word about what it is in this blog post, but you can watch the video.

Our temperatures have come up some and we've had some beautiful sunny and warm days that provide plenty of screened porch and deck time.  Now that we have longer days it's even better.  Last week before we got warmer weather, the cold weather has made me think of areas in the far north that get sub-zero temps all the time.  I cannot fathom it with my mind.  There must be some gene that enables people to live in places like that.

I also thought about the wildlife that lives in those areas and especially ones that use the water as part of their habitat.  Brrhh!  That reminded me of the sea otters we saw on an Alaska cruise we earned in May of 1998.  We saw so much wildlife and enjoyed the cool of the Alaskan waters and ports we visited at that time since we were living in Alabama and it was already hot in May.

We enjoyed learning about marine animals and the sea otters really stole my heart.  They were so cute floating on their backs, some holding their favorite rock they used to crack open clams, etc.

Alaska Cruise Album
 Sea Otter
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When I say favorite rock, I mean it.  Not all rocks are created equal and finding one that's good for splitting things open probably takes some time so they keep it with them always.  They store these "pet rocks" in a baggy pouch of skin under their forelimbs where they also keep extra food for later.  Haven't you ever thought about storing some treats in your armpit for later? 

This critter is part of the weasel family.  Sea otters mainly eat urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species. They eat approximately 25% of their weight in food each day! They have the densest fur in the animal kingdom, ranging from 250,000 to a million hairs per square inch, which insulates them and maintains warmth. Unlike other marine mammals, the sea otter doesn't have a layer of blubber (fat) to help keep it warm.

Thanks to Dolores in New York City for sending me this quote:

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher

I hope you're seeing signs of Spring where you live.  We have trees budding here.  Hyacinth, daffodil and iris leaves are beginning to pop out of the ground.  The hellebores are budding.  For me Spring is like a parade of Resurrection Miracles.  How awesome is the beauty that surrounds us with God's Presence in it all.  I've noticed that the deer have eaten some bushes that they normally don't eat.  It's been a cold winter for them.  I'm glad our habitat has a variety of plants that they can consume.  They just do some pruning for me.

Male birds are singing their "choose me" songs loud and clear almost before dawn breaks.  Lengthening days trigger genes in brain cells that release a thyroid-stimulating hormone that tells the pituitary gland to pump out hormones that wake up the birds’ reproductive organs from their winter slumber. The doves are the most fun to watch as the male waddles along close behind the female who seems to delight in her ability to have him so hooked on her.

This is life!  Thank you, Lord, for Springtime!

May You See Blessings Everywhere You Look!

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
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written by Donna

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